December 10, 2020
Did you miss December's Board meeting?  Click above to view the entire session, which included holiday selections from soloists at William Penn. 

Board of Education Gets a New Member

The Colonial Board of Education now has a student representative. Sheyenne Faircloth, a junior at William Penn, will have a non-voting seat on the board. Faircloth, who was selected by administrators and staff at William Penn, is pursuing an Allied Health career path at the high school. "I feel as though this is an amazing opportunity to learn from you guys and advocate for myself and students," Faircloth said. All board members welcomed Faircloth with President Ted Laws saying he's long wanted to see students have an opportunity to experience what it is like to sit on a board, be empowered to ask questions and report back to William Penn's student government. While Faircloth will sit with the board in public sessions, she will not be permitted to go to executive sessions "This gives us an opportunity to do what we're supposed to do which is to teach," Laws said.

Calendar Update

Last week the Governor announced more restrictive Covid-19 advisories designed to reduce community spread and recommended that school districts “pause in-person learning” and “transition to virtual learning.” As a result, all students in the District will remain in Colonial’s Virtual Academy until at least January 11th. In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing plans for returning to in-person instruction on January 11, 2021, and will share decisions as soon as possible.

COVID-19 has required all school administrators across the state to pivot on plans without much notice. We hope families understand that the top priority is the safety and welfare of students and staff.

All buildings will remain open for all 12-month employees, operational employees, and for teachers and paras who are teaching from their classroom.  
Remember, December 21 - January 1: Schools and offices will be closed

January 11 - Targeted students are scheduled to return for face-to-face instruction. Families will be advised of any changes.


Please continue to monitor our website at www.colonialschooldistrict.org   for updates about school instruction and our student feeding program.

WE Continue to Help with COVID Testing

William Penn High School will continue being the host site for COVID testing sponsored by New Castle County every Tuesday during the month of December. So far 4,936 people were tested at events held at William Penn!. Remember, students and their families are encouraged to get tested at these free drive-thru events. Registration is suggested but not required for faster service. To register visit our website at www.colonialschooldistrict.org. The COVID testing dates and times are:
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 2:30 - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 22 from 2:30 - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 2:30 - 7:00 pm
Spread the word, so WE can help slow the spread of COVID-19! 

Sports Update

With fall sports wrapping up last week, William Penn is now turning attention to winter sports!  Practices have started and coaches are working hard to mold their teams into tough competitors to represent Colonial Nation.  All Winter sports teams are continuing to practice and prepare for competitions.  A final decision regarding games and tournaments will come from DIAA and the state.  

“We look forward to the Gary Lumpkin era in Boys Basketball that will get started this year, and hope everyone stays involved in Colonial Athletics and has a safe and joyful holiday season,” said Athletic Director Matt Sabol.

School Food Pantries

Colonial’s Food Pantries are open and ready to help families of our students and their families by appointment only.  Pantries are located at the following schools:

Eisenberg -- also serves Leach, Colwyck (CEEP) & McCullough. Contact Molly Perdue at Molly.Perdue@delaware.gov

Southern -- also serving Gunning Bedford & Wilbur- Contact Terrance Delane at 832-6300 X 6005 or Terrance.Delane@delaware.gov

William Penn -- also serving George Read and Wallin-Contact Lynaida Diaz (302) 930-0298 or Lynaida.Diaz@colonial.k12.de.us.  Monday and Friday dates and times vary. * The pantry needs donations of paper towels, juices, and feminine hygiene products

New Castle -- also serving Carrie Downie. Contact Courtney Waters-Stroman at  746-2318 or Courtney.Stroman@colonial.k12.de.us

Pleasantville -- Contact Jignasa Wedell at 323-2935 or Jignasa.wedell@colonial.k12.de.us

Castle Hills -- also serving Wilmington Manor. Contact Heidi Gerhard 323-2915 X 511 or Heidi.Gerhard@colonial.k12.de.us

Pictured above (left) are donations recently dropped off at Pleasantville by the always generous  Newark Elks. School Counselor Jignasa Wedell says, "They are amazing community partners that support our families in any way necessary. Along with supporting the food pantry, they have donated needed items during remote learning such as headphones, and buy items needed for our families in this changing time. We are so thankful for their continued support! 
Eisenberg also got a significant donation. A company named Alstom in New Castle (right)  donated 436 pounds of food and other items!  New Castle Presbyterian Church donated food and holiday baskets to New Castle Elementary School. WE count on our community partners, and are grateful for their support! 
The Food Bank of Delaware is sponsoring a drive thru mobile pantry. 

WE are Focused on Equity

More than 140 school leaders in Colonial met virtually on Tuesday, December 8th to continue to work on equity in schools across the district. Grouped as school-based equity teams, the staff decided how to approach the subject of racial equity in the workplace and in the classroom while focusing on understanding how race can impact both personal and professional lives. Tasked with finding the best ways to further this work in their schools, staff are using a variety of methods to take a deeper dive on the matter. Some schools decided to start with a book study, others decided to focus on data that will lead to a deeper understanding of what impacts the lives of black and brown students. Staff also decided to work in smaller independent groups with hopes of getting the perspective of others who are often uncomfortable speaking their truth in larger gatherings. Principal Amina Baaith stated “Above all else, we need everyone to understand that this work is much more than a task we are doing, it’s about evolving our culture as a district and showing who we are” 

While the stress of working on their daily duties during the pandemic is a concern, the educators expressed a commitment to take a deep dive into a subject that has no quick resolutions but will benefit everyone in Colonial Nation.

WE Will Get Through This!

Wintertime, especially around the holidays, can be a stressful time under “normal” circumstances. As we enter into this season, the challenges our community has faced this year might make the weight on our shoulders feel even heavier than usual. Please make sure you are taking care of yourself by trying some of these tips from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (in English & in Spanish), taking a Mindful Minute to do a fun deep breathing exercise that both kids and adults will like, or check out the resources in this Virtual Calming Room to find your favorite stress-fighting tool! 

Find more information about mental health and state-wide support at mentalhealthde.com, or browse this Community Resource List to find a community provider. 

Get it by Text

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WE Must Continue to Practice Safety

Below are two videos to share with your families about the importance of properly wearing a face mask and washing hands. With COVID cases rising, we can't stress enough that these instructional videos should be viewed by all in Colonial Nation as we work to slow the spread of this deadly virus.
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